What name would you like to appear in your article?
What is the make, model and year of your EV?
Volkswagen e-Golf 35kWh
This story goes back to February 2020, just before the Pandemic hit the UK. I had owned my e-Golf since November 2019 and had made many winter single-charge trips. This was my first long, multi-public-charging-only journey. A weekend away for my birthday.
Starting from home, which is Newcastle-under-Lyme, and driving to my overnight stop in Harrogate was no problem. It was cold, range averaging 120 miles as expected. Hotel was 110 miles away so not wanting to risk Mr Turtle or Apollo 13 mode, brrr…I topped up at Ecotricity Birch, no problem and this has become a regular top-up stop on any Northern excursion.
My Hotel was close to Harrogate Civic office, so I fully charged there before checking in: 125 miles range, ready for tomorrow. This is where it got tricky, Next morning it was -2 and snowing heavily. Next destination was only 75 miles, Ormskirk, surely no problem? So I set off, relieved to find the e-Golf ok in the snow and putting the car into Eco mode to reduce the torque helped. Very bad blizzard conditions were experienced going towards Blackburn-with-Darwen and the range dropped like a stone. By the time I was 35 miles in, I had lost around 70 miles, eek!
It was then that I learned one of the greatest lessons of EV ownership: ‘What goes up, must come down’. As I drove the downhill stretch to Hesketh Bank the lost range returned thanks to the magic that is regeneration. I arrived with plenty of range.
A top up at Booths Instavolt, a combination that has become a firm favourite and a visit to NT Rufford Hall completed my trip. The journey home, mostly downhill on the M6 was pleasantly uneventful.
Planning & preparation
I used a combination of Google Maps and Zap-Map to plan my route. These days I use WattsUp, much better.
Birch Moto, Ecotricity – No issues there and never is
Harrogate Civic Hall – Nice location, good app & reasonable price
Booths Instavolt, Hesketh Bank – This combination is my favourite. Reliable chargers, great cafes, always clean.
The EV itself
The car was excellent. It coped well in the snow, cold and ice. In-built sat nav is quite good. This journey was when I decided that out of all the available modes, Eco B is best. Power output is reduced to prevent wheel spin in slippery conditions, B engine breaking means reduced risk of skidding as next to no braking is required. And the bonus is the regeneration really keeps the battery topped up to maximise range.
Road trip conclusion
This trip was a revelation. I was mortified when the weather turned, fearing the worst. Flat battery, no grip. AA callout. All those bad things you hear about EV ownership coming true? Not so, the car really showed it’s excellent design and VW have clearly developed it well. I loved it even more after this trip and have been ever confident since.